New evangelization alive in 'Chritmas and Easter Catholics'

Christmas is coming, and so are those “Christmas and Easter Catholics.” It’s not fair to those of us who come to church faithfully, Sunday after Sunday. We’re the frequent flyers and deserve early boarding rights and priority seating on our high holy days. How dare these “C-and-E” Catholics bump us down to economy class? We shouldn’t be sitting on folding chairs in the back of the church or, worse, cramped into the basement hall listening to the liturgy over poor-sounding speakers. This is just wrong!

Does this sound familiar? Sadly, this attitude is too common. Some dioceses will hand over large sums of money to marketing companies who promise to bring Catholics “back home.” But how well do we welcome women and men who take those first, tentative steps across our threshold? We talk about a new evangelization yet grumble when our pews overflow at the Christmas midnight Mass. If we stop and think about it, a crowded Christmas liturgy is but a foretaste of a successful new evangelization. Are we prepared for it? I reflected on this question in an article for the Prairie Messenger titled “Welcome, one and all, to the Christmas table of the Lord.”

A blessed and joy-filled Christmas to all the staff, writers and readers of the National Catholic Reporter! You give me hope that the table of the Lord is, indeed, great enough and inclusive enough for all.


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